Some South Carolina residents may have heard about the college admissions scandal in which a number of wealthy parents conspired with an admissions counselor in California to get their children into schools using fraud. The woman who is the heiress to the Hot Pockets fortune was involved and was sentenced on Feb. 25 to five months in prison.

The 49-year-old woman had paid the consultant $100,000 to have someone else take the ACT entrance exam instead of her two daughters so their scores would be higher. She also had agreed to pay $200,000 to bribe an official at a university. Prosecutors had asked for her to be sentenced to 21 months in prison, but she asked for probation. On sentencing her for five months, the judge said a prison term was deserved because she had corrupted the college admissions system.

Other prominent individuals were among the 53 people charged in connection with the fraud, including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. Huffman’s sentence was 14 days in prison while Loughlin pleaded not guilty. The consultant involved pleaded guilty to bribery and helping people cheat on exams.

People who are facing charges for white-collar crimes such as fraud should not assume that they will automatically get a lighter sentence because their crimes were not violent. It may be best to speak with an attorney if such an investigation is underway. If the person is facing charges, an attorney might also be able to help determine whether a better course of action might be to plead not guilty or to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution.